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The Dramatic Hijacking of Flight 601: A Netflix Miniseries Recounts a Latin American Aviation Saga

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The Dramatic Hijacking of Flight 601: A Netflix Miniseries Recounts a Latin American Aviation Saga

Netflix premieres miniseries based on dramatic hijacking of Flight 601 in Colombia

On April 10, Netflix released “Hijacking of Flight 601,” a six-episode miniseries based on one of the most dramatic events in the history of aviation in Colombia and Latin America. The series is inspired by the book “The Condemned of the Air” by Italian journalist Massimo Di Ricco, which details the hijacking of nearly 90 planes in Latin America between 1967 and 1973, with around 30 occurring in Colombia.

The story revolves around the hijacking of the Lockheed Electra HK-1274 plane of Colombian airline Sociedad Aeronáutica de Medellín (SAM) on May 30, 1973. Two individuals, identified as Eusebio Borja and Francisco Solano López, hijacked the plane while it was en route from Pereira to Medellín and Cali.

During the 60-hour journey, which covered 24,000 km with 12 landings and takeoffs, the hijackers demanded US$200,000 and the release of political prisoners in Colombia. Passengers were ordered to remain seated and silent throughout the ordeal.

Negotiations with the hijackers became complicated as the Colombian government refused to negotiate. Eventually, the hijackers released some passengers and accepted a briefcase with US$50,000 in exchange for allowing authorities to replace the crew.

The hijacking came to an end on May 2, 1973, with the escape of the two kidnappers, who managed to collect the ransom and evade capture. Francisco Solano López was later arrested and imprisoned, while Eusebio Borja remained at large.

The miniseries sheds light on this harrowing event that marked a dark period in Colombia’s aviation history.

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